ADHD foods & snacks for kids. Mommy is going crazy!,

Hello! I am new to the group, so thanks for the ad. My son will be 5 in January & his behavior is out of hand. He’s in head start/ pre-k & I’ve already been up to the school 2 times & get calls where they put him on the phone. His dad had ADHD & bhis brothers & sister had ADD. I’m at my wits end & about to pull my hair out. Between him & a 9 month old it isn’t easy keeping my sanity. The pediatrician won’t do anything at this point, but looks like we’re being referred to a behavior theorpist. Can someone help me with a list of good foods & bad food for him? I’d like to try changing his diet to see if it helps. TIA


My kids liked carrot sticks, apple slices, raw or teeny bit steamed brocolli “trees” and string cheese. I liked mini rice cakes. Some people have mentioned the Feingold diet here and I’ll bet that’s a good source for suggestions, too.

I looked into it but they want you to pay & I was laid off July the 1st. I can’t afford it.


There are chemicals added to many processed foods that cause reactions in some people. Those reactions can include ADD and ADHD symptoms. This handout will address only the most prevalent areas of: colorings, preservatives, medications, MSG, produce & products that contain salicylates.


Almost all colorings that are not natural are suspect. Pay special attention to Red #40 and Yellow #5 but keep in mind all other colorings that have a “#” symbol before a number of the color is almost for sure a product of coal tar. Such colorings now must carry a warning label on foods in Europe. And the warning is about the high potential in causing ADD and ADHD. AVOID artificial colors.


There are a ton of different artificial preservatives and several may be a problem in one person and not another but a short list of the big-hitters are:

Sodium Benzoate, TBHQ, BHT & BHA.


Avoid anything that contains MSG which is in a lot of prepared soups and as a flavor enhancer in some other prepared foods.

-- Continued --


Aspirin is derived from the bark of a tree. The main ingredient of aspirin is salicylate and is in a drug class called Non-Steroidal Anti-Inflammatory Drugs (NSAIDS). These drugs and anything else that contains it is very likely to contribute to the symptoms of ADD/ADHD. Tylenol is OK but all other over-the-counter medications such as Advil, Bufferin, and other pain relievers and anti-inflammatory drugs are not good. Avoid all NSAIDS.


Salicylate occurs in nature and thus in fruits and vegetables. Grapes/Raisins & thus wine are very high in salicylates as is Ginger. (Oregano) is a hit or miss as to how much salicylate is in a food containing it. Limit the amount of: OJ, Cantaloupe & Bell Peppers. Mint flavoring can also be a problem for many sensitive people and therefore avoid mint, peppermint, wintergreen and other forms of minty flavoring such as in candies and toothpaste.

Sugar is not an issue nor are fluorescent lights or any other old myths that you might run across. Avoid things like fruit loops (colorings & maybe preservatives), frosted flakes, etc. Avoid colorful candies unless they indicate only natural colorings. Colorings also are put in soft drinks and some fruit juices are a mix (despite the main name on the bottle) with white grape juice, etc. Read ALL labels.

Thank you for info and does this apply to teens & their diets as well?

Absolutely - since the issue is about chemicals that are not natural or are in over-abundance in the body - not the age of the body.

Hi Amy. I’ve done a little trial and error with my son (he’s 15). Caffeine in any form, (can react or void out effects of some meds) too much sugar, fast food, and occasionally gluten if he’s overloaded on carbs have been some of the culprits that I’ve noticed. At one point I wrote down what he ate that day and what his mood was like or if he had a meltdown or if he was happy etc… Although there are no hard and fast “rules” for dealing with adhd keeping a journal may help. Some but not all Doctors are more about meds and therapy. I did my own detective work. I used google a lot. Good luck. Let me know how it’s goes.:slight_smile:


Wow this could answer soooo much to our issues

I know we are supposed to focus on none processed foods. Low sugar... one of my problem is, when I send my son to school with his healthy snacks, suck as cheese, yogurt, fruits and veggies... he doesn't eat them and it comes back home! Yogurt and cheese that were in the lunch bag all day ends up in the garbage :/... since his med plays on his appetite, he really does not care for snacks, even less a healthy one!!! grr! Anyways, I try to keep simple foods out for him. Grapes and berries (careful cause even if it healthy, there is lots of sugar in it) rice cakes, crakers, cheese, yogurt, juice boxes... anything simple for him to grab and nibble on. I try to keep sugar as low as possible, even if it hard to keep junk food away from a pre-teen! Still, I would advise you just to keep it simple!! Dips! veggies and a dip made from yogurt and seasonings... figer foods they usualy like... they can still play around and much on their snack... :P Ok! If you come up with cool alternatives or ideas, please share!!! :)

Yes! Having healthy snacks available works for the whole family. My 24 year old son says “I’m so glad you taught us to eat healthy”. By college, so many of their friends have learned why healthy food choices make sense that there is more peer and cultural support for it.